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Ritz Carlton, Bahrain

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The Ritz Carlton is the best hotel in Bahrain, although having visited its branch of Trader Vic's several times on previous occasions, I had never stayed here. As this visit was taking place in August, an obscenely hot time of the year, the rates on offer were very affordable and I ended up booking through the Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts programmes. This offers a number of benefits, including a space available room upgrade, a 4pm check-out and at this hotel a US$85 food credit ! I had booked a sea view room in order to try to get the upgrade to a Club room and this was successful, although I lost the sea view and had a view of the car park instead! Still, it was an entirely acceptable compromise for this one night stay.

Room

I was upgraded to a Club room on the 7th floor of the hotel. Despite a less than enthralling view, the room itself was large - certainly of junior suite proportions with a seating area and desk in front as you entered, then the bed area off to the left. The bathroom was large with separate walk-in rainfall shower and bath - and a TV screen embedded in the large mirror. The bathroom amenities were all Bulgari, which was fantastic.

Club Lounge

The Club lounge was fantastic. There were five separate daily presentations, and the food presentation was excellent. The staff were amazingly helpful and friendly and the service was top notch. A wonderful retreat from the fierce heat outside.

Restaurants

We decided to use our food credit at the in-house steak restaurant Plums, which was a sensational choice. The steak was amazing, although even the US$85 credit wasn't enough to cover the most expensive dish of Wagyu (Kobe) beef. The hotel has many other excellent options - it was quite a close call not to go to the Indian restaurant and we later ended up in Trader Vic's although for cocktails rather than food.

Pool / Beach / Lagoon

One of the best features of the hotel is the large and deep swimming pool. In the summer months this is actively chilled to provide relief from the sweltering conditions. It certainly was a wonderful feeling to plunge in after seriously overheating after only a few minutes outside! There are also numerous beaches and a shallow lagoon which allow wallowing in the sea without the usual disruption of the waves.

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